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What's going on with proposal for second large warehouse in Buford/McEver Road area?
Buford city limits

A proposal for a second warehouse along McEver Road within a year had neighbors feeling deja vu, but on Tuesday, April 12, the developer withdrew the application. 

The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted March 24 to object to the original application, saying it would be a significantly more intense use of the property. 

CORE5 Industrial Partners LLC requested to annex 19 acres of land into Buford and change zoning from agricultural-residential and vacation cottage uses to light industrial. The application would rezone three parcels at 6655, 6633 and 6611 McEver Road, and sought to build a 215,000-square-foot warehouse facility, according to a site plan submitted to the city of Buford. 

The situation was similar to a long fight between the city and county over an annexation for a warehouse less than a quarter-mile up the road. 

The two parties entered arbitration last year over a 400,000-square-foot warehouse facility across two buildings, proposed by CA-Ventures. Hall County lost, and the Buford Board of Commissioners approved the development in August 2021 despite large organized public opposition. Some neighbors and homeowners associations nearby sued the city of Buford after the project was approved, and that litigation is ongoing. 

Read the full timeline of the warehouse annexation here

CORE5 withdrew its application Tuesday, so the county and city will not go through arbitration again, but the annexation request will not end here. 

Gregory Bostwick owns two parcels of land that would have been part of CORE5’s proposal, and he is requesting to annex 13.3 acres Buford without substantially changing zoning. 

Bostwick declined to answer why his plans changed when asked by The Times Wednesday, April 13, but he confirmed he is requesting Buford’s RA-200 zoning, which would keep the land as agricultural-residential. If annexed into Buford, he could request a zoning change in another year. 

Teresa Cantrell, who owns property that holds a women’s shelter in between the two pieces of property proposed for warehouses, said she is concerned the new annexation could still result in a more intense use of the land. Cantrell is also one of the plaintiffs in the ongoing lawsuit against Buford’s decision to approve CA-Ventures’ annexation for its warehouse. 

“We object to both the annexation and the zoning,” Cantrell said. “It makes our parcel an island, and it appears that this is their attempt at avoiding the arbitration and the public input. … 

“We will absolutely object and fight it as hard as we can, because it’s clear that the intention is not to keep it agricultural or vacation cottage.”

Any future attempt to rezone the land would have to be approved by the Buford Board of Commissioners. 

Richard Chambers, who owns the third parcel involved in the CORE5 project, said he dropped out of the deal, because he did not want to wait another year. After Hall County objected to the annexation, plans changed, he said. 

“After a year’s time then they can go back and change the zoning again from residential-agriculture,” Chambers said. “Then at that time they can change it to light industrial or something else.”

The annexation request from Bostwick will go before the Buford Planning Commission for a vote on May 10 and is set to go before the Buford Board of Commissioners on June 6 for a final decision.